I love my body. But… I’d love it more if it were smaller, stronger, different in some way. Does this sound familiar? I often think I’m being body positive because I really do love my body, but then I cringe when I see a picture of myself or see an unflattering angle in the mirror. Do I really love my body or am I just grateful for it?
I would’ve thought if I was grateful for something then I surely would love it right!? I’m not so sure. I’m so grateful for my body to be able to grow and take care of 10 babies! Over the years when I was pregnant over and over again I was scared that this was the pregnancy that would “break me;” ruin my back, my knees, my hip… And yet my body has stayed strong, it was always there doing what needed to be done. And I’m SO grateful.
And yet I expect it to be stronger, leaner, more like the picture it is in my head. I said I want to eat healthier and exercise more to take care of my body, but at the core it’s really just because I want it to be smaller and stronger. Instead of being healthy to giving thanks and love my body, I’m shaming it into being healthy. If I truly was grateful for my body I’d love it unconditionally, right!?
I’ve been struggling finding time and energy in my day and mind to eat healthier and exercise regularly. It’s so easy to put myself on the back burner to take care of my children, my husband, my family, my friends. Why is that? I think because that’s what I’ve been doing for at least the last decade. I love those around me, I value their happiness above my own. It’s in my nature to care for and serve others, which is something I love about myself. But what if I were to treat my body like I treat my loved ones? What if I made sure my body was taken care of just like I make sure my baby gets his bottle and nap?
But how does one learn to love themselves or their body? The first thing that pops into my head is something I would tell my kids. The more time you spend serving and getting to know someone, the more you learn to truly love them. But how do I serve myself? It’s such a foreign concept to me. I suppose for me it might look like getting to bed at a decent hour every night, let the project or chore I’m working on keep till tomorrow, so I can give my body enough rest. Maybe it’s taking time in the morning to meditate, pray, and exercise, even though my kids are awake and demanding my attention. Maybe seeing their mom putting her health first will be better than giving them breakfast 30 minutes earlier. Maybe it’s telling myself that when life gets hard, it’s ok to keep going. It’s ok if I’m not perfect, but to not give up all together.
I know I’ve written about this before, and I’m sure I will again, but maybe I’m not the only woman who has a hard time serving herself along with everyone around her. What are your tips to learning to love the skin your in more and finding time and energy to take care of yourself alongside everyone else in your life!?